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When Tooth Pain May be an Urgent Problem

Family Dentistry Methuen MAOften, tooth pain is something that we kind of try to ignore. Not many people want to admit that they do this, but it’s a rather instinctive reaction. We might try to explain away the mild pain as temporary sensitivity. Sometimes, though, pain is sudden and severe, and this is a problem that refuses to be ignored.

Any time that pain occurs in the mouth and lasts for more than a day, a dental visit should be scheduled. Wouldn’t you love to hear that the mild sensitivity you’ve been having when you eat is just a tiny cavity and repair is simple? We like when things go this way, too. Instances of unique tooth pain may need even more prompt attention. Let’s look at a few . . .

Sudden, Severe Pain

If you felt fine this morning and have a severe toothache tonight, there is a problem. Tooth pain that is keeping your attention needs to be addressed. At home, you may carefully brush and floss and rinse the mouth with warm salt water to see if that helps. These are temporary measures, though. This type of pain could be telling you that bacteria have reached deep into your tooth and are capable of causing a nasty infection.

Throbbing Pain

Infection could also cause a tooth to feel like its throbbing. This kind of pain could develop gradually or suddenly and may indicate a tooth abscess. An abscess is an infection that has localized within a small pocket that has formed within the tooth or along its root system. Wherever an abscess exists, it needs to be treated right away. If this infection is not properly treated, the pocket could rupture and introduce infected debris to surrounding tissue. A ruptured abscess is a serious problem. Do not wait to obtain dental care.

Pain When You Eat or Drink

There are a few types of tooth pain that could occur when you eat or drink. One is sharp sensitivity to hot or cold. The other is pain under the pressure of chewing. Sensitivity could signal that a cavity has developed. It may also be related to receding gums. In either situation, dental care should be obtained within a few days to repair damage and prevent further injury. When chewing causes pain in a tooth, there may be a fracture that needs to be repaired. This is also a matter of importance because a small fracture could lead to a larger break. Fractures that are tiny also allow bacteria to the inner realm of the tooth, inviting infection.

Schedule a visit to our Windham or Methuen office to restore comfort and protect your oral health.

How Might Smoking Affect Dental Implant Success?

Dental Implant  Windham NHOne of the questions that we ask ourselves when developing a course of treatment for any given situation is “how can we maximize patient outcome?” You see, patient outcome – achieving a result that will provide long-term benefit to the patient – is a measure of successful dental treatment. It is a measure of value for the patient. When we set out to prevent or repair a problem, this is at the forefront of our mind. It is for this reason that we must discuss the impact that smoking can have on the final outcome of dental implant treatment.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implant treatment is the new age of tooth replacement. We learned long ago that teeth, even replacement teeth, need roots in order to function properly. It has only been in the last few decades that the method to facilitate this was perfected. Now, dental implants are more routine than an upgraded form of dentistry.

Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are used to replicate the structure of natural teeth roots. When these cylinders are implanted into the jaw, they set off the process of osseointegration; bone tissue literally grows around them. What this does is lay a new foundation on which artificial teeth can be secured.

Dental Implants and the Smoker

Because it is difficult to predict the possibility for long-term success when implant treatment is performed on a smoker, some dentists refuse to follow this protocol unless a patient stops smoking. Here’s why . . .

  • Bone growth may not occur as well in a smoker due to the lack of proper circulation. This could inhibit the integration of implants, even when bone grafting is conducted prior to implant surgery.
  • Oral tissues are directly damaged by the heat of smoke inhaled, inhibiting the regeneration of new cells needed to support dental implants.
  • Both healing and immunity are degraded by the toxic ingredients in cigarettes and the effects of these chemicals on peripheral blood vessels.
  • Salivary glands sustain damage from the inhalation of cigarette smoke (as well as other sources of smoke). This downgrades production, which leads to dry mouth, which increases the risk of gum disease. Where there is gum disease, there is a threat to the stability of dental implants.

Dental implant treatment has been around long enough for studies to take place. Studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smokers have twice the risk of non-smokers for implant failure.

Dentures and dental bridges are tooth replacement treatments that provide meaningful improvement after tooth loss. However, dental implants are considered the best option in most cases. To learn more about options for tooth replacement, contact our Methuen or Windham office.

How Might Smoking Affect Dental Implant Success?

One of the questions that we ask ourselves when developing a course of treatment for any given situation is “how can we maximize patient outcome?” You see, patient outcome – achieving a result that will provide long-term benefit to the patient – is a measure of successful dental treatment. It is a measure of value for the patient. When we set out to prevent or repair a problem, this is at the forefront of our mind. It is for this reason that we must discuss the impact that smoking can have on the final outcome of dental implant treatment.

What are Dental Implants?

It has only been in the last few decades that the method to facilitate this was perfected. Now, dental implants are more routine than an upgraded form of dentistry.

Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are used to replicate the structure of natural teeth roots. When these cylinders are implanted into the jaw, they set off the process of osseointegration; bone tissue literally grows around them. What this does is lay a new foundation on which artificial teeth can be secured.

Dental Implants and the Smoker

Because it is difficult to predict the possibility for long-term success when implant treatment is performed on a smoker, some dentists refuse to follow this protocol unless a patient stops smoking. Here’s why . . .

  • Bone growth may not occur as well in a smoker due to the lack of proper circulation. This could inhibit the integration of implants, even when bone grafting is conducted prior to implant surgery.
  • Oral tissues are directly damaged by the heat of smoke inhaled, inhibiting the regeneration of new cells needed to support dental implants.
  • Both healing and immunity are degraded by the toxic ingredients in cigarettes and the effects of these chemicals on peripheral blood vessels.
  • Salivary glands sustain damage from the inhalation of cigarette smoke (as well as other sources of smoke). This downgrades production, which leads to dry mouth, which increases the risk of gum disease. Where there is gum disease, there is a threat to the stability of dental implants.

Dental implant treatment has been around long enough for studies to take place. Studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smokers have twice the risk of non-smokers for implant failure.

Dentures and dental bridges are tooth replacement treatments that provide meaningful improvement after tooth loss. However, dental implants are considered the best option in most cases. To learn more about options for tooth replacement, contact our Methuen or Windham office.

Let’s Get into Some of the Details of Invisalign

Invisalign Braces Windham NHNow that Invisalign has been in use for several years, we have had the opportunity to see what this braces-free teeth-straightening system can do. Furthermore, the makers of the Invisalign system have had the opportunity to expand the capabilities of the clear plastic aligners. Because Invisalign has proven itself a contender in the teeth-straightening department, interest in this treatment continues to increase, and that can mean confusion.

Interestingly enough, the more popular a treatment gets, the more misinformation may spread. Let’s get down to the important details that you need to know if you’re considering Invisalign:

  • You’ve got to wear your aligners. When a person gets braces, there is no question that their treatment will achieve its goal. This isn’t cut-and-dry with Invisalign. If aligners are not in place the majority of the time, it will take longer to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Oral hygiene is even more important when you wear Invisalign. The way that clear plastic aligners can straighten teeth is by full coverage. Where there is full coverage, there is less oxygenation, and there is less saliva to dilute acidity and sugar residue. Therefore, there is an increased risk of decay and infection. Be prepared to rinse your mouth after every meal and snack – at least. Ideally, tooth-brushing will occur three times a day.
  • Remember that comfort is subjective. Some people will say that Invisalign doesn’t hurt one bit. Other people will say that a new set of aligners creates a mild ache or uncomfortable sensation. The fact is, it is necessary for the periodontal ligament to stretch if we want teeth to move, and this could be slightly uncomfortable for short periods of time.
  • Toothpaste is not good for aligners. Most toothpaste products are made with mildly abrasive particles. This is good for enamel because it polishes it. It is bad for plastic aligners because it could scratch the surface, allowing bacteria to accumulate.
  • Aligners are nearly invisible until they’re not. Once you become accustomed to wearing your aligners, there may be a natural temptation to leave them in a while enjoying a warm or cool beverage other than water. This is a no-no. Not only could that let debris stick to teeth and gums, but it could also stain the clear plastic.

We enjoy seeing our patients get smiles they love. Learn more about Invisalign by getting in touch with our Windham or Methuen office.

Let’s Get into Some of the Details of Invisalign

Invisalign Braces Windham NH Now that Invisalign has been in use for several years, we have had the opportunity to see what this braces-free teeth-straightening system can do. Furthermore, the makers of the Invisalign system have had the opportunity to expand the capabilities of the clear plastic aligners. Because Invisalign has proven itself a contender in the teeth-straightening department, interest in this treatment continues to increase, and that can mean confusion.

Interestingly enough, the more popular a treatment gets, the more misinformation may spread. Let’s get down to the important details that you need to know if you’re considering Invisalign:

  • You’ve got to wear your aligners. When a person gets braces, there is no question that their treatment will achieve its goal. This isn’t cut-and-dry with Invisalign. If aligners are not in place the majority of the time, it will take longer to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Oral hygiene is even more important when you wear Invisalign. The way that clear plastic aligners can straighten teeth is by full coverage. Where there is full coverage, there is less oxygenation, and there is less saliva to dilute acidity and sugar residue. Therefore, there is an increased risk of decay and infection. Be prepared to rinse your mouth after every meal and snack – at least. Ideally, tooth-brushing will occur three times a day.
  • Remember that comfort is subjective. Some people will say that Invisalign doesn’t hurt one bit. Other people will say that a new set of aligners creates a mild ache or uncomfortable sensation. The fact is, it is necessary for the periodontal ligament to stretch if we want teeth to move, and this could be slightly uncomfortable for short periods of time.
  • Toothpaste is not good for aligners. Most toothpaste products are made with mildly abrasive particles. This is good for enamel because it polishes it. It is bad for plastic aligners because it could scratch the surface, allowing bacteria to accumulate.
  • Aligners are nearly invisible until they’re not. Once you become accustomed to wearing your aligners, there may be a natural temptation to leave them in a while enjoying a warm or cool beverage other than water. This is a no-no. Not only could that let debris stick to teeth and gums, but it could also stain the clear plastic.

We enjoy seeing our patients get smiles they love. Learn more about Invisalign by getting in touch with our Windham or Methuen office.

Is This the Way to a Healthier Mouth?

Family Dentistry Methuen MABecause we know the consequences of poor oral health, many of us are very mindful about how we take care of our teeth. We brush every morning before we start the day, and once again before we retire to bed for the night. The manner in which oral care is conducted is integral to how long we keep our healthy smile. According to research, unhealthy gums could be a precursor not only to tooth loss but also to some potentially chronic and serious health conditions. With that in mind, we want to circle back to the idea of oral care, but maybe not in the way you may expect.

Flossing for Optimal Health

Is this exactly what you expected? Probably. But keep with us here. Dentists advise flossing because it is this activity that removes debris from the spaces in between teeth. There is no way to do this with tooth-brushing alone. If debris lingers in these hard-to-reach places for even a 24-hour period, plaque forms. Plaque is the insidious biofilm that leads to cavities, inflammation, and infection – all the things that cause pain in your mouth. Because of plaque forms within a day, we are encouraged to make sure debris is removed from every area of the mouth on a daily basis. Which means flossing is a must.

Researchers estimate that approximately 80% of Americans will develop gum disease at some time.

When you read that statistic, you can see that there may be a teeny problem with the amount of flossing that is going on in this country. As easy as it seems to be, and as necessary, flossing just doesn’t get done consistently enough to put an end to the gum disease epidemic. There may be a way to increase your power against this condition.

Water for a Cleaner Mouth

Dentists tend to recommend manual flossing above all else. However, if using a thread and fingers is difficult due to stiffness or pain in the hands or fingers, chances are flossing will be skipped. People who just don’t like to floss, or those who wear braces, may also skip this activity. In such instances, we may suggest using a Waterpik to thoroughly cleanse the mouth.

Oral irrigation using water may not be as effective as flossing with string. On the other hand, it is more effective than nothing, and there may also be ways to enhance results. Talk with your dentist about flossing using a Waterpik during your next visit to our Methuen or Windham office.

Bring on the Holiday Glow!

Family Dentist Services Methuen, MAThere is no time throughout the year when we simply don’t care about appearance. That being said, there are certain times when we want our smile to look good. The holidays are one example, and an important one, since they come around every twelve months. Perhaps it is the festive vibe that lives during this 8-week period or the knowledge that there may be more photos taken, more gatherings to attend, at this time. Whatever the reason, this is the season to consider how your dentist in Methuen and Windham can help you maximize your smile.

At Kalil Dental Associates, we care about health and beauty – and the longevity of both. Our preventive treatments are performed to inhibit bacteria from causing damage that could affect appearance (not to mention comfort). Restorative and cosmetic dentistry services also seek to preserve and enhance the natural appearance of teeth, so the smile is the perfect Welcome Sign for the face.

The fact that the holidays are almost here is no reason to panic. There are a few simple treatments that could make your smile the star this season:

  • In-office teeth whitening. This treatment may be ideal for the person who has waited until the last minute to get on track regarding appearance. A more radiant smile is only 90-minutes away when our chairside whitening is chosen. During that time, the light-activated whitening can lift several shades of discoloration.
  • Home whitening. If you’re thinking weeks in advance, now is a great time to schedule a consultation for professional teeth whitening using a home-whitening system. Custom-fit trays are conveniently made using impressions of your teeth. You are then supplied with your trays and a tube of whitening gel to apply daily.

It is important to note that both methods of whitening are capable of achieving dramatic results. For more substantial whitening due to severe staining, we may suggest a combination of the two, beginning with a jump-start office treatment before a course of home whitening.

  • Dental bonding is a single-visit treatment that can disguise a chip or crack in a tooth, cover a stain, or cover exposed root surface that is making a tooth appear longer than normal.
  • Veneers are often used to make over the smile, but that doesn’t mean lengthy or costly treatment. In many cases, only one or two veneers can make a dramatic – and quick – change in the appearance of the smile.

We’d love to talk with you about your smile. Contact us for your visit with our friendly team.

Why Teeth Whitening is a Job for your Dentist

Teeth Whitening Methuen, MAAs strong and resilient as the enamel on our teeth is, it is no match for the morning cup of coffee. In fact, you may be aware that there are numerous threats to your radiant smile. It is as if every time we open our mouth to put in food or beverage, there is a good chance that stains are in our future. Because a brilliant white smile has, in recent years, become synonymous with youth and vitality, it is understandable that more people are interested in finding the right method of teeth whitening. But just what does that look like?

In reality, teeth whitening is nothing new. Humans have been at this for centuries. It is only in the era of modern dentistry that safe and effective solutions for discoloration have been found. As these solutions have been more widely understood, they have been mimicked. This could impact your smile if you aren’t aware of the differences between DIY whitening and professional care from your dentist. Let’s take a look:

Your dentist sees the big picture.

Getting a whiter smile is one thing, but doing it safely, in a manner that works, and does not harm oral structures, is really what you want. Dentists don’t just hop right to the controlled bleaching of teeth. First, a thorough examination is performed. A cleaning may also be recommended to remove any biofilm that may inhibit optimal results. In conducting this evaluation, your dentist will be able to identify if stains are close to the surface, or if they are within the tooth. This matters, because internal stains usually don’t “bleach-out.”

Your dentist gets results quickly.

There aren’t many people who can stick with a program of daily whitening if results are not forthcoming. This is one of the greatest advantages of professional teeth whitening: you get to start seeing a brighter smile right away! Depending on the method of whitening you choose, the results you see may even be nearly-immediate. In a short office visit, we can perform the whitening process for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax. In-office whitening is sometimes the initial aspect of treatment and is followed by a round of home-whitening for the most dramatic results.

The desire for a brilliant smile is simply human nature. The benefits of a white smile are unmistakable. Enjoy them sooner rather than later. Call us in Windham or Methuen for more information on our teeth whitening services.

The Journey to a Major Dental Problem

Family Dentist Services Methuen, MA Usually, situations in life do not jump from zero to mach-20 in an instant. Tooth decay is a prime example. While a lot of people do express surprise to the dentist when a severe toothache has developed overnight, the majority of situations related to tooth pain develop gradually. There is actually a process of decay that occurs in every case of tooth pain. Knowing what the individual steps are, how they may feel, and what can be done at that point to stop the process, empowers each of us to act on our own behalf. As a family dentist to individuals from Methuen and Windham, patient-empowerment is what we want!

How Tooth Decay Spreads

  • Initial demineralization. Tooth enamel relies on mineral-content in order to stay as resilient as necessary to bite and chew. The initial onset of decay occurs when minerals are depleted from enamel, which happens when there is too much acidity in a localized spot, usually the result of plaque. When demineralization occurs, slight sensitivity to hot and cold may develop. This may resolve with a standard professional cleaning, or may require the added protection of topical fluoride or dental sealants.
  • The cavity. A cavity occurs when the localized area of demineralization worsens into a small divot, or gouge in the softened surface of enamel. The worse the gouge becomes, the more sensitivity may occur. In addition to hot and cold, a tooth may react to certain foods, as well. The sooner this small area of decay can be removed and filled with a tooth-colored composite filling, the better.
  • Decayed dentin. There are several good reasons to have a cavity treated as quickly as possible. When decay penetrates the thickness of the hard outer shell of enamel, it meets much softer, more vulnerable dentin. Due to the softness of dentin, and its many tubules, bacteria are able to make their way more quickly through this matter and toward the center of the tooth. There is more extensive removal of material necessary when dentin decays, and a dental crown may be needed to restore optimal structure to the tooth.
  • Pulp infection. Can we just say . . ? You don’t want bacteria to invade the centermost part of your tooth. The pulp chamber is where the vessels and nerves and root of the tooth live. Here, right in the presence of nerves, inflammation will be difficult to ignore. This is usually when that severe toothache strikes by surprise. Pulp infection is typically treated with root canal therapy, and the tooth is restored with a dental crown.

Why wait for dental pain to tell you it’s time to see the dentist? Contact Kalil Dental Associates today.

Tips for Maximizing Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign  Methuen, MAIt is no secret that most people would prefer to avoid wearing braces. When tooth-colored brackets and wires were developed to improve the appearance of smiles-in-progress, it was believed that the problem people had with braces was solved. It wasn’t. We live in a time when convenience and discretion are expected. With Invisalign, patients get this and more.

Invisalign is a far cry from the braces of old. There is no frustration tied to oral care, or to eating. There are, however, steps that patients must follow if they want to achieve and maintain the desired outcome – a great smile. Here, we offer a few tips on how patients can get the most out of Invisalign treatment.

  1. Make flossing a habit. We assume all of our patients brush every day. We cannot assume the same of flossing. Most people skip this step in oral care, even though it takes less time than brushing. When Invisalign aligners are being worn, there is a greater risk of plaque buildup. Flossing is crucial to cavity and gingivitis prevention.
  2. Commit to regular wear. Invisalign is praised for being more comfortable than traditional braces, but that doesn’t mean there is no discomfort. For the first two days after a new set of aligners is inserted, teeth may feel sore. Because aligners can be removed, there is a strong temptation to do just that. Don’t. Ride out the strange sensations. They will subside more quickly if you do.
  3. Committing to regular wear also means wearing aligners twenty-two or more hours a day even when they don’t feel like they’re doing anything. It is important that, even during busy work days or social-event seasons, aligners remain in place for most of the hours in a day.
  4. Change aligners when needed. Typically, patients can expect to switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks. However, if your dentist advises you to remain in a current set of aligners for a few more days, do it. Treatment will not be accelerated by changing aligners too soon.
  5. Wear your retainer! The proper wear of a retainer is just as important as the entire Invisalign process. If teeth are not supported by this device, they will shift, and that is a frustrating consequence to live with.

Are you ready to start your Invisalign process? Call our Methuen or Windham office to schedule your consultation.